If you have ever read anything I have written, you will know that good nutrition is the keystone of having gorgeous, flawless and healthy skin. Any products used upon the skin itself are secondary to diet, merely helping to cleanse or lubricate the external structure of the skin. There is however, an often overlooked third factor, which in my opinion is just as important as diet – exercise.
If you’re thinking about lifting weights with your ears and nose, or running through some odd looking facial exercises, you can come back to Earth now. I didn’t mean for you to actually exercise your skin as such – general cardiovascular exercise boosts the health of your skin all over, bringing many nutrients to the skin cells and giving you a glowing complexion. We usually associate this kind of exercise with having a leaner, firmer body….. but exercise should also form part of your beauty routine too. Trust me, I’m a Beauty Naturopath!
When you exercise, several beautifying things happen:
1. The heart rate increases, pumping oxygen-rich blood around the body. Every cell in the body needs oxygen to be healthy and your skin cells are no different.
2. Blood vessels near the skin dilate to allow the warm blood to cool, thus preventing you from over heating. This process is what makes you look flushed while exercising. After the initial ‘flush’ the skin will then glow beautifully for several hours afterward.
3. This oxygen-rich blood is also carrying many much needed nutrients to your skin cells. The more you exercise, the more beauty nutrition is available to your skin.
4. Exercise tones-up muscle and burns fat, your skin sits on top of a fat and muscle foundation, the firmer and leaner it is, the tighter and firmer your skin will be.
5. Perspiration (sweating) occurs when exercising; this sweat is helping to remove toxins from the body via the skin. Exercise is a beauty detox!
6. Depression and negative thoughts can vanish while in the midst of hard exercise; negative thoughts and feelings leave their impact on the skin. It’s no accident that wrinkles are referred to as ‘frown lines’ and ‘worry lines’. Exercise increases the levels of Serotonin (the body’s home-made happy drug) in the brain. Feeling good will show on the face, and beauty is only a smile away.
Other things to try are dry skin brushing and firm massage. These will both stimulate the lymphatic system, which speeds up detoxification, and increase blood flow to the skin to give you that glow and deliver those beauty nutrients to your skin cells. Skin brushing also exfoliates your skin effectively, sloughing of the old dead and dull cells to reveal brighter fresher skin underneath. Everyone’s a beauty winner.
Star is the author of The Holistic Beauty Book and a Beauty Naturopath specialising in Rejuvenation and Raw Organic skincare. Her website www.starkhechara.com features free recipes for healthy beautiful skin and offers training course in skincare formulation.